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Personal Challenges

I think I can, I think I can!

Composing ~ Inspiration, Part 3.

This approach to creating music is based on challenging my self to do something new. Now, this one is probably obvious, and common, but it also stands out as unique from the previous approaches because it is entirely self directed. So to clarify, this is about setting specific goals and working to acheive them. Creating musical challenges for myself, and overcoming them. For example: I am fascinated by dance. Seriously, it can have a major impact on me emotionally. There is something so profound about witnessing the human body engaged in graceful movement. Needless to say, break dancing amazes me, ballet is stunningly beautiful, tap dancing is killer and what some dancers do with dub step is out of this world; by that I mean amazing.

The most recent dance style to capture my attention is Shuffle dancing. I'm not talking Harlem shuffle. I'm talking about the glide-like-magic, bounce and kick it in killer white sneakers shuffle. A combination of what's called Cutting Shapes, the Melbourne Shuffle and Jump Style. These movements turn people into bouncing balls of pixie-energy. Limber electrified beings of genuine joyful expression. I think what I like the most, is that the style is so playful. It can be sexy and sassy, and even aggressive. But above all it always looks playful.

As a musician there is a deep urge within me to create music that people can dance to. It's also a bit of a struggle, because I've never really focused on creating or playing danceable music...

Enter Challenge 1: Create a piece of music that dancers can shuffle to, and make it a guitar based tune. Which is why I wrote Nectarine (below). And I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of creating it.

Challenge 2: Create a Dark Orchestral piece.

Challenge 3: Create an Abstract Orchestral piece.

So, as you can see, this approach is just about setting a goal/challenge and working to achieve it. Do, or Do not. There is no try.


Here are the examples created using this approach.

1. Nectarine

Challenge: Create a guitar focused song that dancers can do the Melbourne shuffle to. This is also the title track from my 2018 Album release Nectarine available in all major online music stores and streaming services.

2. Demon Hunter

Challenge: Create a Dark Orchestral piece. For this I tried to visualize “The Hero's Descent Into Hell...”
This is a challenge I will probably return to at some point.

3. The Haunting

Challenge: Create an Abstract Orchestral piece. This was my personal project for Halloween 2018. It's also more challenging than one might think, to maintain harmonic characteristics without getting too tonal i.e. intentionally making music that doesn't sound like music.

>> Continue on to Approach 4. Letting It Flow.

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Cory (Daniel) Todd is a Canadian Artist and Musician. | Listen: Spotify and iTunes. | Watch: youTube | Visit for more info.
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